27 September 2015

Spooks 2.10: Smoke and Mirrors - Micro-Review


Totally different and bloody brilliant. Wonderful stuff. More like an episode of The Prisoner – and curiously very close to the recent Sherlock finale ‘The Reichenbach Fall’.

This is the story of Tom’s downfall. A tipoff from Christine reveals an assassin in the country. Tom goes on it alone, working with Danny and Zoe but not telling Harry.

But, as we know and knew from the start, it’s a set-up. The very clever plot – of the story and the enemies -  means that every action Tom makes can be spun, and because he’s working alone it’s difficult to see his logic. Especially when the assassin and master criminal are both dead men, his fingers are on the gun that kills a security chief, and there’s shadowy motives planted on him. A good scene is when Danny follows him to a warehouse – later revealed to be a lead that simply went nowhere – in which he finds incriminating evidence of a passport in Tom’s identity, cleverly linked in with Christine’s Slovakian origins.

The master spy behind it – his motive of revenge against Tom for using his daughter standing up quite well – is great, and always one step ahead of him. Eventually things come to head at a cottage by the sea (I remember that!), where Tom shoots Harry (shock!!!) and then runs to the sea and inexplicably walks into it. Doing a Reggie Perrin. Later, they find his body.

Okay – so behind the scenes, they weren’t sure if he’s be in it or not, so they wrote the most open cliffhanger possible (the two main characters both possibly dead!!). But they totally sell it – even Ruth crying. It’s a really perfect ending to a tension building episode (albeit it went on too long perhaps after the initial shocks, the gunshot, etc, with flashbacks and emergency services and stuff)
It’s also packed full of great cinematography. A wood filled with bluebells with guys in animal masks. An alley by a railway lit up with flashing blue lights and orange sparks (no idea why but it looked stunning). The beach and sea at the end – loads of lovely images.

I sort of know what happens next – well, neither of them die somehow – but I don’t know exactly as I’ve never seen Series 3 Episode 1! Yippee!

Standout Moment: The whole ending, perhaps? Like, all of it. Maybe him going into the sea at the end... or maybe his phone call to warn them and then realising he’s too late. Well, pretty much all the episode really. Matthew McFadyen is amazing.
Guest Star Watch: Nobody I’ve seen in anything. Boo!! But then it was a small guest cast.
Hellos and Goodbyes: The evil Joyce guy, who apparently appears next week too. Not sure if Christine comes back after this... if not, bye!
Death Count: One I think - The man at the start (and we see bodies of his guards). The security chief is assassinated but we don’t see that. Harry gets shot on screen in the most amazing slow motion gunshot fall stunt thing I’ve ever seen. But of course he doesn’t die and neither does Tom.

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